An Urgent Problem
The shortfin mako is classified by IUCN* as Endangered and listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
- Inherently vulnerable
- Ecologically vital
- Economically valuable
- In need of international catch limits
*IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature
For three years running, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) has failed to act on clear and urgent scientific advice to ban retention of seriously overfished North Atlantic shortfin makos. The continuation of intense and practically unlimited fishing on this slow growing, declining population represents a conservation emergency that will already take decades to repair. Atlantic fishing countries must act now to prevent an even greater disaster.
- Science-based mako proposal was opposed in 2019 by the European Union (EU), United States (US), and Curaçao.
- These Parties pushed for exceedingly complex counter-proposals that fell far short of scientific advice – allowing hundreds of tons of makos to be landed
- The US-Curaçao proposal even permitted continued killing of makos that make it to the boat alive
- EU fishing vessels are responsible for most of the reported catches of Atlantic shortfin makos
- Spain is the world’s top country for mako landings
- The EU co-sponsored the proposal to list mako sharks under CITES, but has yet to impose mako catch limits on its vast shark fishing fleets
Your Call to Action
- Raise awareness
- Social Media – #Divers4Makos
- Shark Week
- Project AWARE Week
- Make your voice heard – reach out to public officials to get them to change their positions on the adoption of long-overdue science-based ICCAT catch limits